Action moral courage

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Action civil courage (synonymous: network against violence) is a term under which people and organizations come together as a social movement to form an alliance at local level in Germany and Austria .


There is no central national organization. Alliances, which are called Action Civil Courage , are mostly loose associations at local or regional level. The common idea is to act openly and decisively as part of civil society against violent attacks and to prevent them as early as possible.

In order to promote this goal, the alliances organize joint social and cultural projects (e.g. pacified schools or youth centers, band competitions, etc.) Well-known practical means are also the use of stickers on house and business doors, which these publicly serve as a vanishing point in an emergency for people exposed to violence. Another measure are telephone chains, with which people can be mobilized in a short time, if z. B. There is a risk of xenophobic attacks on asylum seekers accommodation.

The local alliances can be organized very differently. In some cities there are only loose networks of existing organizations. Formal associations are even formed in other places. Depending on the main sponsors, these alliances can take on different political characters. Some are alliances of anti-fascist groups, some are left-wing extremist groups monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and some city or local councils officially support these alliances. In the meantime, the promotion of networks against violence under the motto Action Civil Courage is also promoted by the interior ministries and the police as general prevention work.

Such alliances first appeared in what was then West Germany in the 1980s , when right-wing extremist attacks against foreigners increased. In Austria, to protest against the participation of the FPÖ in the government, many local alliances called Action Civil Courage came together.

Comparable forms of organization can be found in the area of Local Agenda 21 .


  • A better-known example in Germany is the Aktion Zivilcourage eV from Pirna in Saxon Switzerland , which was founded in view of the results of the European elections in 1999 and is funded by the federal program Civitas, the city of Pirna and numerous large foundations.
  • In Passau in 1998 the Passau civil courage action was formed in protest against a meeting of the right-wing extremist party NPD . The aim was to use non-violent blockades to prevent the participants of the NPD conference from traveling to Passau and, secondly, from entering the Nibelungenhalle conference venue. A corresponding appeal was signed by people as diverse as the cabaret artists Bruno Jonas and Sigi Zimmigart , various city council members, trade union secretaries, innkeepers, schoolchildren and church representatives, the church vicar general, the head of the Passauer Stadtwerke and the managing director of the slaughterhouse.
  • A recent example is the civil courage project of the Zugerland Verkehrsbetriebe , a company for local public transport in the Swiss city ​​of Zug . The transport companies have taken up moral courage and advertise this with large poster campaigns, and call on passengers and drivers to jointly defend themselves against vandalism, violence and unsavory behavior. The company's own employees are trained and supported on this subject - which is mandatory.

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